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Stables owner devastated after arson attack on site

A GRANDMOTHER has been left devastated after arsonists burnt her stable block to the ground and endangered the life of a horse.

Kathleen McGee, who runs Durham Dressage, arrived to find the remains of the timber building, near Station Road, in Ushaw Moor, County Durham, being dampened down by firefighters.

Ms McGee, the manager of a nearby engineering firm, raced to the scene from her home in Newton Hall after she was alerted by a member of staff.

She said: “There was a lot of smoke, but when that cleared, there was nothing left. It was total devastation.

“I cannot get my head round why anyone would do this deliberately, especially when there was a horse in the yard. It is totally senseless, almost barbaric.”

Ms McGee’s two horses, Trinity and Ellie Mae, were grazing in a nearby field at the time.

Flynn, a yearling colt Irish draft horse that has an injured hind leg and was being looked after for a friend, was in the stable yard, but escaped the flames by jumping a 4ft fence. He was later found in a nearby field.

Ms McGee said: “I was more worried about him than the stables. He was so terrified, you could not go near him for a while until he had calmed down.”

The fire broke out at about 8.45pm on Monday, July 11.

Ms McGee has stabled horses there for ten years and rebuilt the facilities three years ago at a cost of £8,000.

She has already had to deal with five raids by thieves, during which about £2,000 worth of equestrian equipment was stolen.

Ms McGee said that about £3,500 worth of equipment had been destroyed in the blaze and has been told that her insurance will not cover the building and may not cover the equipment.

Ms McGee, who has raised £4,000 for charity over the years with dressage competitions, said: “I have lost everything.”

Her daughters are organising a clean-up operation.

Anyone who would like to help is asked to go to the Durham Dressage’s website at durhamdressage.org.uk Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call police on 0345-60-06-365.

From The Northern Echo READ MORE

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